Guest post from our guide Kiki
This week a few volunteers and myself went to one of the many projects that Quetzaltrekkers supports within the city of Leon, Nicaragua. Barriletes, located on the south end of the city, hosts and houses dozens of kids of all ages. For some, the project is an orphanage, giving a permanent home to the young children. For others, it is an afterschool program where impoverished working parents can drop off their kids to receive an extra meal or some help with their school work. In any case, Quetzaltrekkers has been a proud participant in the development of this wonderful growing community.
Having volunteered with Quetzaltrekkers for months, we were all excited to spend time with the benefactors of our work. As important as the financial support offered to Barriletes had been, including building renovations and food supply donations, we knew the kids would be quite happy with a piñata and some fruit. Upon our arrival, we realized that may not have even been necessary as the kids mobbed their way toward us offering hugs and high-fives. After chasing around the younger ones until they ran out of gas and talking with the older ones as they finished schoolwork, we shared bananas with all of them and set up the piñata while they were distracted. Since there were about fifty kids there on this day, we let the youngest couple of dozen try to break the piñata. Once all the little kids had taken their swings, and with poor Yoshi barely intact, we called on an older kid to finish the job, which he did with gusto. After everyone had wrestled away their fair share of candy, we cleaned up and spent a little while longer with the kids before saying our goodbyes. As we did, Maria, the director of Barriletes, gave her thanks for our continued support, praising the organization for its compassion. Just in time for one more round of hugs and giggles from our friends.